Samkhya Karika 57, Prakriti is to Purusha what Milk is to Calf

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Samkhya Karikas

Samkhya Karika 57 text:

Vatsa-vivrddhi nimittam shirasya yatha pravrttih ajnasya |

Purusha vimoksha nimittam tatha pravrttih pradhanasya ||

Vatsa-vivrddhi nimittam – for the nourishment of the calf (child)

Shirasya – of milk

Yatha – as

Pravrttih – action of secretion (of milk)

Ajnasya – of the unintelligent / unknowing

Purusha vimoksha nimittam – for the liberation of Purusha

Tatha – thus, so, therefore

Pravrttih – activity (of creating)

Pradhanasya – of Mula Prakriti (Pradhana)

Samkhya karika 57 further delves deeper into how Prakriti (manifested) works for the emancipation of the Purusha. Here, it draws a parallel between the activities of Prakriti and the activation of the secretion of the milk within the mother cow as soon as the calf is born.

Samkhya Karika 57, Prakriti Functions like Cow’s Milk

Samkhya Karika 57

As Cow’s milk provides nourishment to the calf without having any personal motives or gains, Prakriti provides nourish ment to the Purusha. The secretion of the milk beginson its own the moment the calf is born.

Same way the basic instinct of Prakriti is to work endlessly for the liberation of Purusha from its own bindings. Both, cow’s milk and Prakriti, do not need any go ahead (reason) to begin their individual functions of providing nourshment to their respective targets.

Both (cow’s milk and Prakriti) are insentient by nature, or lack consciousness. Consciousness is the attribute of Purusha not Prakriti, cow’s milk is a constituent of Prakriti (matter) itself. These two entities lack the ability to consciously decide about anything. Their functions of providing nourishment to their respective targets happen by default.

The nourishment as provided by Prakriti to Purusha is assumed to be in the form of various experiences it presents it with and in the process helps it progress towards developing, maintaining an dettachment to the material world.

One’s body, composed of matter (Prakriti), is meant to experience the material universe and project it to Purusha. In a way the individual Purusha experiences the world through the body.

One is supposed to learn from these experiences. Henceforth, develop a neutral attitude towards matter, and its temptations, and finally experience the Pure Consciousness (Purusha), the ultimate experience of ecstasy (of real freedom) one must strive for.

Purusha cannot experience anything without the body. Prakriti is indispensable for Purusha to achieve its ultimate purpose of libeation. The body (Prakriti) is a vehicle for the consciousness to reach liberation.

The entire interplay of Prakriti (matrix of everyday activites) is for the Purusha to see and experience. Can we think in a manner that whatever is happening is happening for our own emancipation.

Prakriti, through its various activities such as true love, great suffering, unrestrained fun and frolic give us an experience and later let’s arise a feeling in us that they are no more wanted.

The feeling is similar to a man, rescued from drowning in sea; when he comes ashore, he declares “no more dips in the sea”!

There are many things in the world and from morning to evening we are involved in all these things. We get lost in petty things. Whatever is happening in life is worth watching/ observing- why it is happening?

We have a choice: just observe or get completely immersed in it and suffer.

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